The world of prefab and modular homes.
  March 2008 Archive

Monday night TV: prefab on DIY Network, March 31

Link to Monday night TV: prefab on DIY Network, March 31

Here's a good find from our new Web Researcher. DYI Network has a whole series on prefab and modular homes: Assembly Required. Most of the 26 episodes have been shown at least once.

Episode 101 is up next: Modular Home -- Prefab Options:

The Papadapoulos family is considering prefab home options for their Virginia vineyard. ... The couple decides to tour a modular home building factory and discover what prefab has to offer.

(The factory: Nationwide Custom Homes.)

Also, meet the Surratt family who used prefab technology to create a one-of-a kind modular home. Tour their home and find out the many upgrades that are available to modular home buyers.

Episode: Modular Home -- Prefab Options
Series: Assembly Required
Network: DIY Network
Length: 30 minutes
Date: March 31, 2008, 10:30 PM Eastern (and again at 2:30 AM)

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Modular dormitories

Link to Modular dormitories

The New York Times reports on modular dormitories:

The three-story dormitory at Yale’s Pierson College, which houses about 18 students, was assembled during spring break.

Read the full article for details.

author: Alison Gregor
publication: The New York Times
length: 1,200 words
date: March 26, 2008

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Home Delivery blog goes live!

Link to Home Delivery blog goes live!

MoMA is curating a blog for the Home Delivery exhibition. It went live Monday.

So far, Kieran Timberlake has posted on the Cellophane House:


  • Design work including a full-scale mockup is 100% complete.
  • 95% of the materials have been ordered.
  • Structural materials for two chunks have been delivered to the factory.
  • SmartWrap™ façade material is being fabricated at sub-contractors shop.
  • Fabrication in the factory has begun.

And Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston have updated the progress on their BURST*.008 design:

For Home Delivery, the fabrication method has evolved to account for a four to five week on-site construction timeframe, as well as the intricacies of house building in midtown Manhattan.

Check out the blog for weekly updates from each team:

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Method Homes, HOM, containers and lots more Home Delivery (Aug 02, 2008)
   2. The Home Delivery blog is hiding some of their best videos (Jul 08, 2008)
   3. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   4. System3 from Oskar Leo Kaufmann and Albert Rüf (Jan 18, 2008)
   5. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
   6. The m-ch (micro compact home) (Jan 10, 2008)
   7. Lawrence Sass and yourHouse (Jan 09, 2008)
   8. MoMA does prefab (Jan 08, 2008)
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BURST* update

Link to BURST* update

We received an email from Katherine Keltner at the offices of Gauthier Architects. She provided an update and correction regarding the BURST* model appearing in the upcoming Home Delivery show at MoMA:

BURST.003 was completed in 2006 under SYSTEMarchitects: Douglas Gauthier and Jeremy Edmiston.

BURST.008 is being installed at MoMA and is designed as a collaboration between Douglas Gauthier [now at his own firm] and Jeremy Edmiston.

We'll provide more information on the BURST.008 model when details are released. In the meantime, check out the other coverage we have of the exhibition:

Related Posts:
   1. MoMA's Home Delivery gets a glowing review from the NY Times (Jul 18, 2008)
   2. Home Delivery update: install videos to drool over (Jun 26, 2008)
   3. MoMA's prefab homes nearing delivery (Jun 09, 2008)
   4. BURST*003 from SYSTEMarchitects (Jan 11, 2008)
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Prefab Futures at Pratt Institute: April 3

Link to Prefab Futures at Pratt Institute: April 3

On April 3, New York's Pratt Institute will hold a symposium on Prefab Futures:

The one-day conference will present research and scholarship related to the history of prefabrication, contemporary and emerging techniques and approaches to prefabrication, as well as the social and sustainable potential of prefab and prefab technologies.

Participants include:

Follow the link below for more info. Here's a tidbit they don't mention on the site: the event is free and open to the public.

where: Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
date: April 3, 2008
time: 8am-7pm
price: free! (bring valid ID)

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KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes

Link to KieranTimberlake partners with LivingHomes

Via Curbed LA:

LivingHomes is partnering with Philadelphia-based architecture firm KieranTimberlake Associates on an “expandable” single-family (pictured above) prefab green homes that can grow from 900 square feet to 2,230 square feet. All parts of the home are made in a factory--and owners can essentially order more parts of their home as their family grows... Additionally, the home will be priced at $215 a square foot, but as the country catches on to the expandable home, costs are expected to drop to $155 a home.

The post quotes Steve Glenn of info_smallLivingHomes:

As you marry, have kids, add in-laws to the household, etc., you’re either moving a lot or constantly renovating, which is time-consuming, expensive, stressful, and very wasteful from a resource perspective.... LivingHomes by KieranTimberlake introduce an important new capability to homes – the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively adapt to people’s changing lifestyle living needs.

Treehugger adds:

As a cured architect and developer, I could only dream of what the result might be if one mixed the talents and innovations of architects like Kieran Timberlake with a business visionary like Steve Glenn and set them to produce small, efficient projects that don't need a Silicon Valley multimillionaire's income to own.

That's worth some research, and we'll share the details soon.

Related Posts:
   1. Ray Kappe multifamily by LivingHomes (Jul 09, 2009)
   2. KieranTimberlake LivingHomes (Jun 24, 2009)
   3. KieranTimberlake and LivingHomes: match made in prefab heaven? (Jun 19, 2008)
   4. This week: kitHAUS, mkSolaire, containers and more (Apr 05, 2008)
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Allison Arieff in LA Times

Link to Allison Arieff in LA Times

This article is too good to excerpt. 14 questions; interesting answers. Go read it!

author: David A. Keeps
publication: Los Angeles Times
length: 1,400 words
date: March 13, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. West Coast Green 2008 coming September 25-27 (Aug 14, 2008)
   2. This week: London, Resolution: 4, OMD and more (May 24, 2008)
   3. CA Boom V recap  (Apr 11, 2008)
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Steve Glenn of LivingHomes speaking tomorrow in Long Beach, CA

Tomorrow at California State University, Long Beach, info_smallLivingHomes founder and CEO Steve Glenn is leading a seminar on Building Green: Home Design and Construction.

This evening seminar is designed to address the emerging trend of developing healthier and smarter buildings by defining effective ways to utilize materials, energy, and water usage. The sustainable home combines elements from architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, environmental and land use planning, and construction management.

You will learn:

  • How to use the LEED rating system
  • LivingHomes' six core tenets to sustainable design
  • Green home building goals and objectives, and more

For more on Steve Glenn's interesting career, read his bio.

where: California State University, Long Beach
date: tonight, March 18, 2008
time: 6:30-9pm
cost: $35.00

Related Posts:
   1. Steve Glenn of LivingHomes speaking September 16, 2009 in Seattle (Sep 11, 2009)
   2. Steve Glenn of LivingHomes speaking August 28, 2009 in Portland, OR (Aug 19, 2009)
   3. Ray Kappe multifamily by LivingHomes (Jul 09, 2009)
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This week: Marmol Radziner set, Modular Homes Inc., and more ABŌD

Link to This week: Marmol Radziner set, Modular Homes Inc., and more ABŌD

The Marmol Radziner Prefab blog wrote about the installation of a new home in California. Check out the post for pictures, including the vibrant blue denim insulation seen above.

greenbuildingsNYC discussed Modular Homes, Inc.: Edison, New Jersey-based custom modular home builder that will break ground in April on what it hopes will be a LEED-certified model home in Robbinsville, New Jersey....

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday covered the ABŌD affordable prefab we saw last week.

Related Posts:
   1. The Skyline Series by Marmol Radziner Prefab (Jul 02, 2009)
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Flatpak house in Aspen

Link to Flatpak house in Aspen

A blog named Denver Modern Homes points out this great Flickr photoset of a info_smallFlatpak house in Aspen.

where: Aspen, Colorado
length: 39 images

Related Posts:
   1. Sausalito, CA FlatPak for sale (Jun 26, 2009)
   2. Aspen goes modular  (Dec 04, 2008)
   3. This week: historical, Flatpak, LVL tour, and more (Jun 21, 2008)
   4. Lazor Office's FlatPak House (Apr 19, 2007)
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Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30

Link to Tour an Empyrean NextHouse in Silicon Valley: March 27, 29-30

Yesterday, Dwell magazine announced an open house:

Modern prefab has arrived in Mountain View, CA in the form of a progressive single-family home -- the Dwell NextHouse by Empyrean. ... A unique opportunity to tour the 2,400 sq ft prefabricated home will be available.... Dwell invites attendees to become engaged in a dialogue about modern and prefab home design.

Their site has a schedule and information on the speakers:

  • Joel Turkel, Designer of the NextHouse
  • Sally Kuchar, Interior Designer for the Dwell Home: Silicon Valley
  • Michael Sylvester, of fabprefab
  • Jhaelen Eli, consulting designer to Empyrean

Can't make it? Or want a preview? Jetson Green found this entertaining video tour from interior designer Sally Kuchar:

model: info_smallNextHouse
manufacturer: info_smallEmpyrean
where: Mountain View, CA
when: March 27, 9am - 6pm (trade)
when: March 29-30, 10am - 6pm (consumer)

Related Posts:
   1. The Silicon Valley NextHouse: prefab and custom (May 01, 2008)
   2. Empyrean International launches new website (Apr 07, 2008)
   3. Empyrean and the NextHouse (Apr 20, 2007)
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Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine

Link to Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine

Apartment Therapy Chicago covers an info_smallLV Home in Eliot, Maine:

When James and Rui were ready to build on their lakefront land, they contacted architect Rocio Romero. The Missouri-based designer is well known for her minimalist prefab homes, which arrive flat-packed and can go up in a few months' time. James and Rui worked with Rocio to develop a standard LV Home (Rocio's trademark design) with a custom interior that would make the most of their incredible natural surroundings. The highlight of this home is definitely the views....

Read the post for more details or go directly to the slideshow (16 images).

Related Posts:
   1. Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine (May 27, 2008)
   2. Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour (Mar 04, 2008)
   3. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
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Lucian Hood at CA Boom V

The description for the vendor "Lucian T. Hood, Architect" on the CA Boom site isn't very clear. With no mention of prefab at, I emailed to get some details:

Skelly Oil bought the prefab manuf. co. and hired me to design and draw single family dwellings ... duplex, town houses, apartments, more... I am bringing my Skelly brochure we sent out nationwide and can chat about the product ...

He's not there just for prefab. He'll be at CA Boom to answer all sorts of questions on architecture and construction, a role he has some experience in:

I have done 4 Public Access TV shows and 3 months guest host (every Sat) radio show (call in to the Architect) so I am at the show ... to help, inform, guide, answer at no cost.

Related Posts:
   1. CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16 (Mar 05, 2008)
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This week: nomads, home-in-a-box, RuralZED, and more

Link to This week: nomads, home-in-a-box, RuralZED, and more reported on the nomad home:

Another modular, truckable prefab, this time from Austria, by architect Gerold Peham. Sizes range from 44m2 [473 sf] to 88m2 [947 sf]. also covered abōd:

Abōd™ was created by BSB Design to provide affordable housing for families in Africa. Easily mass-produced and deliverable by truck, ship or plane, the “home in a box” includes the entire 120sf structure (unassembled) that fits into a box 4’ x 12’ x 2’...

Treehugger shared the RuralZED prefab from the UK:

We were very excited when Sami first showed us ruralZED, the UK's first commercially viable, affordable and ready to purchase zero-carbon home; now there is more information on the RuralZED website.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday featured two different homes this week. They also covered RuralZED:

...they claim [it] is Britain’s most affordable green prefab home and is also able to meet its strictest energy standards. Oh, and did we mention that it is a flatpack?
And looked at the iPAD:
We’ve been waiting and hoping for more from New Zealand architect Andre Hodgskin who first wowed us with BACHKIT™, a gorgeous holiday home of prefab pavilions designed in 2000.

Related Posts:
   1. iPAD: more from New Zealand  (Jan 03, 2008)
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New checkbox search for our database of prefab and modular homes

Link to New checkbox search for our database of prefab and modular homes

Hello, Scott here. Peter has just released a new feature that I designed (and he painstakingly implemented). It combines our previous one-click navigation with a more flexible search using checkboxes.

The earlier approach was quick:

  • click any parameter to go directly to those results
  • click any other parameter to drill-down farther

Here's how it looked (for homes priced between $100k - $199k with 1,500 - 1,999 sf):

Many online stores use this approach, but it has one big problem: what if your target doesn't match the specified ranges? Maybe you'd like 3-4 BR between 1,500-2,999 (which spans 2 ranges). That would take 4 different searches! The solution is simple: checkboxes.

Now you can be thorough:

  • click the checkbox for any parameter
  • click the checkbox for any other parameters
  • click "Search"

Many sites feature direct drill-down, others have checkboxes. We have both working together in the same form. (If you've seen this combination anywhere else, please send us the URL!) To add or remove a single parameter from your search, just click on it directly. To change several, use the checkboxes and click Search.

As before, options that have no data are crossed out. You can click on one to reset your search and see results for just that item.

Please try this new interface to what we think is the world's most complete database of modernist prefab homes that are available to order. (Plus some traditional style homes, and lots of prototype and custom prefabs.)

Related Posts:
   1. Prefabcosm update: available, prototype, discontinued (Jan 12, 2008)
   2. Prefabcosm update: one-click navigation of prefab and modular homes (Dec 27, 2007)
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The Duncan House in the New York Times

Link to The Duncan House in the New York Times

We previously reported on Frank Lloyd Wright's prefab Duncan House. The New York Times travel section picks up the story:

We were inside the work of the master. Like any Frank Lloyd Wright house, this one was immediately recognizable.

And briefly, it was ours. The Duncan House is a vacation rental, one of half a dozen Wright houses where paying guests can move in for a weekend or a few days and pretend to be home.

Read the full article for details on the other Wright houses (though the Duncan house is the only prefab).

author: Barbara Ireland
publication: The New York Times
length: 1,200 words
publication date: March 2, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Spend a night in a restored Wright prefab (Aug 30, 2007)
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CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16

Link to CA Boom V coming soon: March 14-16

Last year's CA Boom IV show brought twelve prefab companies to Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, CA. I attended the show, spoke to some vendors and tried to get my head around others. We won't be able to attend this year's CA Boom V, but if you're in the area and seriously interested in prefab, it's well worth a visit:

CA Boom is NOT the place “to talk about the potential of and the maybe/someday value of prefab”, rather this is the Buyer/Seller event for you to “comparison shop” the leading manufacturers who “have delivered houses.”

If you are ready to make a purchase (for instance you have land) and you need to choose who to purchase from, then get on a plane and get to CA Boom. Serious prefab buyers make their purchases at CA Boom.

I counted eight prefab vendors as of today:

As we stated last year, CA Boom's Prefab Zone has strict requirements for the companies present:

  1. ability to provide real price quotes
  2. ability to receive and accept orders
  3. have at least one built dwelling
  4. have a manufacturing process in place (not just a plan)
  5. have knowledge of how to deliver and install the dwelling

Also worth looking for (date and time TBA):

"THE FOUR WOMEN OF PREFAB" panel discussion featuring prominent prefab architects Michelle Kaufmann, Jennifer Siegal and Rocio Romero, and moderated by Allison Arieff, the former editor-in-chief of DWELL magazine.

name: CA Boom V
what: "prefab exhibition, design + architecture home tours and ... panel discussions"
where: Barker Hanger, Santa Monica Airport, Santa Monica, CA
when: March 14-16, 2008 (March 14 is trade only)
time: 11am - 5pm (6pm Saturday)
price: $20/day, architecture tours extra
more info: press release (pdf)

Related Posts:
   1. CA Boom V recap  (Apr 11, 2008)
   2. Lucian Hood at CA Boom V (Mar 10, 2008)
   3. CA Boom roundup 3: the eccentrics (Apr 03, 2007)
   4. CA Boom roundup 2: "that one" (Apr 02, 2007)
   5. CA Boom roundup 1: confusion and flux (Apr 02, 2007)
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Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour

Link to Rocio Romero's National LV Open House Tour

Via Inhabitat on Feb. 29:

To date, more than 110 LV prefabs have become home to owners throughout 23 states in the US, with 40 more under construction. While prefab fans have been able to tour the Rocio Romero show home in Missouri for several years, this weekend marks the first time that a finished LV is available for viewing in New York. The first National LV Open House Tour kicks off on March 1st (tomorrow!) in the Hudson Valley!

Sorry that we posted too late for the New York open house, but there will be more! The Rocio Romero site fills in the blanks:

This event is one of four that will be held throughout the country. The 2008 National Tour will provide attendees the opportunity to see and feel the LV space.  Ms. Romero, Rocio Romero staff, homeowners, and general contractors will be present to discuss the LV design features, custom design options, the build process, and construction costs. Since 2003, more than 6,000 individuals have visited the Rocio Romero show home in Perryville, Missouri. Our new national tours will allow attendees to view our newest homes and experience the wide array of customization and lifestyles available to LV home owners.

The open house featured four pre-reserved time slots, costing $40/person. We'll do our best to get the dates for the other three events with plenty of advance notice.

company: info_smallRocio Romero
when: dates TBA
where: locations TBA

Related Posts:
   1. Sunset Magazine features LVM by Rocio Romero (Jul 22, 2009)
   2. Tour a Rocio Romero LVL Home on June 14th in Maine (May 27, 2008)
   3. Tour (virtually) an LV home in Maine (Mar 11, 2008)
   4. Tracking the progress of an LVL home (Dec 11, 2007)
   5. Tours of an LV Series home in the Napa Valley (Jul 12, 2007)
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Prefab hotel in London

Link to Prefab hotel in London

We've covered prefab hotel rooms in Amsterdam. Now Reuters UK reports:

You see a vacant east London building lot paved over with asphalt and used as a car park. Tim [Pyne] sees the site of a rack-'em, stack-'em prefab temporary designer boutique hotel.

An architect with years of experience designing temporary buildings for exhibitions, [Pyne] says prefab is the answer for a city like London, where quick development means a shortage of space, and shabby areas are suddenly chic.

His design is called the M-Hotel and it consists of a steel frame with trailer-style mobile homes fitted out with designer furnishings, stacked four high...

Jetson Green says:

I love the possibilities and ideas ... it's cool and innovative. The m-hotel is designed as a series of steel-framed slot boxes that slide into the frame (which makes for easy dismantling in the future). 

Also from Tim Pyne: The info_smallm-house.

author: Peter Graff
publication: Reuters UK
length: 330 words
publication date: February 29, 2008

Related Posts:
   1. Pop-up hotel technology from Abilmo (Jul 16, 2008)
   2. Prefab apartments to make downtown Seattle affordable? (Jun 25, 2008)
   3. Prefab hotel rooms in Amsterdam (Aug 24, 2007)
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This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more

Link to This week: pieceHomes, Res: 4, Magic and more

Low Impact Living interviewed the folks at pieceHomes:

affordability is key. A lot of companies are selling their factory-built work at $400-500/square foot—and they are gorgeous, but very expensive. Our goal is to produce some homes at the $200/sq foot level….we’d prefer to sell more smaller, affordable homes to more clients than a big, expensive home to a really wealthy client...

We are working on several homes now….the first one is a custom design. It’s called Rindge. It started off as a conventionally built house. But we realized we could build it in modules with some minor changes to the structural engineering. We realized we could save money and time going that way.

CubeMe covered Camp Smull by info_smallResolution: 4 Architecture. discussed the pinc house sport, from Pinc House, a company involved in the Some Assembly Required exhibition we've mentioned previously.

Jetson Green loves the Rapson Greenbelt, mentioned last week.

Inhabitat's Prefab Friday featured the info_smallMagic Box.

Treehugger looked at a unique prefab:

When your hard drive is full you can plug in another, because they are all designed to be modular and interchangeable. Why shouldn't houses work that way?

architecture.MNP found a cool Danish design:

Designed by Danish firm ONV Architects, the home is a modular [really?] prefab that is both customizable and [supposedly] affordable.

Personally, I’m a huge fan of the overall form...

Related Posts:
   1. This week: Loq•kit, Rapson Greenbelt, and more (Feb 23, 2008)
   2. West Coast Green: pieceHomes (Oct 01, 2007)
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